• # Gohar Aslam
  • # App Development
  • # 7 April, 2022

Push Notification: The Definitive Guide

Has it ever happened to you that you were sitting in a meeting or attending your class and you got a notification pop-up from an app that is installed on your phone? You are annoyed now because not only are you distracted, but you also have a sudden urge to open that app. That is the whole purpose of a push notification.

Push notification is an alert that pops up on your smartphone and prompts you to do something – it calls out to you to do a command. To do it or not is totally up to you but oftentimes not we end up doing it. It also allows you to speak directly to the app users at the right time and place, and all of it can be customized according to the need of an app used for a more personalized experience. The effect of it is rapid and almost difficult to pass over.

Styles of push notifications


It is exactly as it sounds, it is a text that is not personalized and is sent to almost all users. The purpose of it is to push the user to open the app and perform an action. It could be in the form of information, an update or a promotion that deep links to a part of the app. It is not interactive in any way, you tap it and you are directed to that app.


This will allow users to respond to the push notification from the interface without having to unlock your phone or open your mobile app. It can be in the form of a question or a survey, for example; “will you be showing up at the appointment today?” or “Are you satisfied with our company?” The user will be able to select “yes” or “no” from the push notification.

The response to this is immediate because the users do not have to open the app to answer, they can just click on an answer from the interface. The companies will get a response almost always because the hassle of unlocking the phone and going to the app is no longer there.

Types of push notifications

  • Time-sensitive
  • Highly personalized
  • Reminders
  • Smart-selling
  • Achievement
  • User-subscribed
  • Anything new happens
  • Location accurate
  • Limited time scale
  • Content
  • Promotions
  • Updates

Why do I need all this information?

If you want to develop an app, it must be of most importance to you to keep the user engaged. Not adding this feature means that your app will not be able to immediately grab the user’s attention. Almost every app on the market includes this feature which means that for you to be able to compete with the rest it also needs to be a part of your app.

The most important thing to know is the type of app you are developing and its target audience. Once you have established that, next on your list should be to know what you want out of the push notification app. For example; if you want the user to apply for a membership or enter card details, they really need to be interested in the types of notifications you are sending. In the end, push notifications need to help you boost your business and if that is not happening, your strategy needs to be revised.

Type of app and which notification style to use

Lifestyle app

Lifestyle apps are personalized according to the user’s experience. These include fitness apps, dating apps, music apps, food apps, etc.

Types of notification styles that are best suited for this kind of app are highly personalized user-subscribed and achievement notifications. Because these apps are further customized according to the user’s likes and dislikes, personalized and user-subscribed notifications will not burden the app user with unnecessary information that is not of their interest. Achievement-oriented notifications will push the user to feel motivated by notifying them of all the tasks they have completed, for instance congratulating them on listening to 100 songs in a day or working out for 30 minutes if it’s a fitness app.

Social media app

If you plan on making a social media app, the best kind of notifications include updates and anything new that happens. Since social media apps allow the user to socialize, they are interested in knowing what is happening with whom and if there are any updates since they last opened the app. These notification styles will be most beneficial for your social media app.

Utility app

Utility apps are most commonly used such as alarms, calculators, flashlights etc. and the best type of push notifications for these are reminders. Many of us have frail memories so reminders are the best way to enhance your utility apps when it comes to keeping the user engaged.

Games app

For your entertainment app to be successful, it needs to be addictive for the users so they are tempted to come back again and again. The suitable type of push notifications to use for such an app would be user-subscribed, user-personalized, and reminders. The app needs to make sure that the users are notified of all that is happening in the app while they are away to keep them engaged yet not bombarded with unnecessary content.

News app

News app is probably the only app that needs to provide the most accurate information and for this to happen, the user needs time-sensitive, location-accurate, limited time scale, and new content. Push notifications will no longer be effective if they are not time or location relevant because the news will be a part of the past then. For your app to be a hit, it is essential for you to keep the user updated about what is happening around them.

Productivity apps

These apps help users do tasks efficiently, without having to struggle much for example; Notes. This is a pre-installed app on Apple devices while Google keep is popular amongst Android users. Similarly, there are many other apps that help the user increase their level of productivity. For an app like this, the most popular option of push notifications would be updates related to the upgrading of the app since they are simple to use and do not provide any other function than to facilitate the user with day-to-day tasks.

Some pointers to remember

  1. You need to keep in mind that the users have full control over the option of Push notifications and it is up to them if they wish to turn it on or off. It will still be beneficial for your app to give this option to the user.
  2. Notifications need to be kept to a minimum because our goal should be to improve the efficiency level of the app and not annoy the user with an overload of unnecessary content such as promotions.
  3. The cost of this feature to be added to your app depends on the style and type of notification and also the number of notifications you are able to send.
Senior Content Writer
Gohar Aslam
Coding Pixel

Gohar is a seasoned IT writer specializing in leading technologies. He holds a Diploma and Bachelor's degree from the University of London, with professional experience spanning over five years in the IT sector. His expertise involves a keen focus on mobile applications, web apps, blockchain, content management systems, e-commerce, and fintech. Beyond the professional field, Gohar is an avid reader and reads extensively about emerging and innovative technologies.